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Next Best Thing
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Next Best Thing
Next Best Thing is a new, limited-run commentary from KMUW. Every other Wednesday, KMUW's Jordan Kirtley will take a look at ways we can stay connected from a far via virtual events and outdoor activities.

Next Best Thing: Juneteenth ICT

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Produced by Films From Within
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The beauty of virtual events is that you can never really miss them. In a lot of cases, there’s not much difference between tuning in live, and watching a video on your own time.

Take this year’s Juneteenth ICT virtual celebration. The local nonprofit Community Operations Recovery Empowerment partnered with local volunteers and organizations to host a jam-packed schedule of events, June 13 through 21, in honor of Juneteenth.

For anyone who doesn’t know about this holiday, here’s a brief overview: In 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, but it wasn’t until more than two years later, on June 19, 1865, that Union forces landed in Texas with news of liberation. The date, dubbed Juneteenth, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

For me, the highlight of this year’s celebration was the virtual parade presented by WSU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The 47-minute-long video premiered on the Juneteenth ICT Facebook page on June 20. It’s expertly produced and features stops at several local landmarks, like the Kansas African American Museum, the Dunbar Theatre, and the site of the 1958 Dockum Drug Store sit-ins. Important information is told through entertaining interviews, interspersed with stunning musical performances.

No matter when you watch it, I guarantee you’ll gain a better understanding of our region’s past, and a stronger connection to Wichita’s African American community.

There are so many more videos on the Juneteenth ICT Facebook that I can’t even begin to list them — but you can find them here.

 

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"Smooth Actor" by Podington Bear courtesy of the Free Music Archive, CC BY NC